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Can You Use Non-Alcoholic Beer for Beer Can Chicken?

Can non-alcoholic beer give that distinct beer flavor to beer can chicken, even though it doesn’t contain any alcohol?

The clear-cut answer is yes, you can use non-alcoholic beer for beer can chicken, and it works wonderfully.

Let’s explore the reasons.

Why Non-Alcoholic Beer Works for Beer Can Chicken

Non-alcoholic beer retains the core flavors of its alcoholic counterparts. When you’re cooking beer can chicken, the primary purpose of the drink is to steam the bird from the inside out, ensuring it remains juicy and absorbs some of the beer’s taste.

Non-alcoholic beer provides moisture and introduces a mild beer flavor, making it a suitable substitute.

Taste Differences to Expect

Though non-alcoholic beer has the essence of regular beer, there are subtle flavor differences. When using it for beer can chicken, expect a milder beer flavor.

The chicken will still be tender and juicy, but the robust beer notes that some people might be accustomed to might be a tad less pronounced.

Health Benefits

One upside of using non-alcoholic beer is that you’re avoiding using alcohol in your cooking, which can be preferable for various reasons.

For instance, if you’re hosting guests who abstain from alcohol or if you simply want to serve a meal that’s free from any alcoholic content.

Preparation Tips

Just like with regular beer, it’s advisable to let the non-alcoholic beer come to room temperature before using it for cooking. Pouring it into the chicken cold can alter the cooking time.

Also, since non-alcoholic beer comes in various flavor profiles, choose one that complements the seasonings you’re using on your chicken.


Non-alcoholic beer is a viable substitute for beer can chicken. It delivers on moisture, offers a hint of beer flavor, and is perfect for those looking to keep the meal alcohol-free.

So, the next time you’re whipping up a beer can chicken, feel confident in reaching for that non-alcoholic beer. It’ll definitely do the trick!